Eagles beat 49ers in primetime, take control of NFC East

Brandon Aiyuk hurdles Eagles safety Marcus Epps on his way to the endzone.


Brandon Aiyuk hurdles Eagles safety Marcus Epps on his way to the endzone.

Thomas Tait '22, Editor-in-Chief

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-20 on Sunday Night Football, picking up their first win of the season and subsequently becoming the sole leader of the NFC East.

The game saw the Eagles play their best football in the final quarter of this game, a stark contrast from the prior games — and even the first three quarters of this one.

Another Wentz interception highlighted a rough first three quarters for the QB, which included poor reads and checkdown passes coming up short. He added another rushing TD for the first score of the game from 11 yards out, his third on the year.

The Eagles offense looked poor (as it has all season), with neither side really getting anything going — outside of a ridiculous play by rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk to put the 49ers on the board.

The Eagles defense held strong throughout the first half, grabbing their first interception of the year (thrown by Nick Mullens, caught by Rodney McLeod) and keeping the 49ers from scoring outside of the Aiyuk touchdown.

Then it seemed like a switch flipped in the 4th quarter. Following a 49ers touchdown and Eagles field goal (these two drives taking up most of the quarter), the 4th started with a three-and-out drive for the Eagles (they actually lost five yards on the drive). Then that switch flipped.

Fan favorite Cre’Von LeBlanc forced a fumble that set up the Eagles offense with great field position at the San Francisco 42-yard line. Following a seven-play series that resulted in the team ending right back where they started (zero net yards on seven-plays), Carson Wentz connected with WR Travis Fulgham for 42 yards to put the Eagles back on top, 18-14. This was Carson Wentz’s longest touchdown pass since Week 1 of 2019 and only the second professional catch by Travis Fulgham (the first came in this game).

On the first play of the subsequent drive by the 49ers, Nick Mullens through an atrocious pass right into the hands of Alex Singletary, who returned it 30 yards into the endzone, putting the Eagles up 25-14. That score would prove to be the deciding factor, as the Eagles would go on to win the game    25-20.

The Eagles have finally gotten their first win of the season, but have the issues that have been plaquing this team been solved?

Carson Wentz played better in this game than he has played in any other game this season. He made plays on the ground and through the air…sometimes. There were some plays where he missed the easy checkdown throws and made poor reads all over the field. But then there some plays like emulated the 2017-version of Wentz. The Travis Fulgham touchdown, where he placed the ball into the perfect spot and let a practice squad player make a great play. His rushing touchdown, where he made defenders miss and created a great play when there was nothing there. The kind of player Wentz will be this year is still unclear, but next week, against a tough Steelers defense, will be more telling as to whether he can remain a viable starting QB.

The defense looked stout throughout the whole game. Forcing three turnovers, scoring a TD, and getting four sacks against a solid offense is great production. There is cause for concern though: the linebacker group. The linebackers have been among the worst in the league this year, allowing season (and career highs) to many of the TEs they’ve played this year. This week, it was George Kittle that was able to capitalize. He broke out for 15 catches, 183 yards, and a touchdown – the first TE with 15+ catches and 170+ yards since at least 1948 (NFL). They need to fix this, like I’ve been saying since Week 1. There is a small point of optimism: Alex Singletary, Shaun Bradley, and Davion Taylor. Taylor is a work-in-progress prospect, so more time may be needed. Singletary and Bradley both have shown flashes of being solid players, and they need to be given more playing time, especially ahead of Nate Gerry and Duke Riley, both of whom have been abysmal this year.

This team finally showed flashes of improvement. A tough two week stretch against the Steelers and Ravens will prove to be the real test. More improvement from Carson Wentz and the offense will be necessary to beat Pittsburgh and Baltimore, so let’s hope that it can happen.